Softball Senior Profile -- Cara Maxey

May 8, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Senior centerfielder Cara Maxey has seen action at every outfield position as well as shortstop and second base in her four seasons at Oregon State. One of the most versatile athletes on the team, Maxey has played in 205 games over the course of her career, starting 160 contests in a Beavers uniform.

A native of Fresno, CA, Maxey is the lone OSU senior not hailing from the state of Oregon. Heading into this weekend's final home series of her career, Maxey, the owner of the shiniest cleats on the team, ranks on Oregon State's career top-10 batting list in both doubles and home runs. Earlier this season, Maxey matched the OSU single game record with two home runs against Iowa State, and her six RBI against the Cyclones ranks as the second-most in school history.

When she hangs up her uniform for the final time later this month, Maxey's versatility will be missed on the OSU roster, but her adaptability will help ensure success in whatever the future holds.

Maxey is one of five seniors on the Beavers' softball roster - a group of individuals that have helped re-write the OSU record book throughout their careers.

A weekly player profile will highlight each of the Beaver seniors through the end of the season and give you an inside look at five outstanding individuals.

The following is a question and answer session with Cara Maxey prior to a recent practice:

Q. How long have you been playing softball and what do you enjoy most about the sport?

A. I started playing softball when I was 5 years old. I like the team part of softball - the friends you make. I enjoy the sport too, but I really enjoy just hanging out with my teammates and everything else that comes along with it.

Q. What other schools did you think about attending, and why did you choose Oregon State?

A. I looked at Fresno State, Ohio University and Missouri. It was always my dream to go to Fresno State, but that was kind of the easy road because I would be there with my family and follow in my sister's footsteps. It's what I wanted to do, but I feel like the Lord led me to come to Oregon State and take the hard road. I've learned a lot, and now I'm ready to go back to see my family.

Q. Your sister (Jaime Maxey) played softball at Fresno State and won the World Series Championship there. Have you ever felt pressure following in her footsteps?

A. It's kind of funny, because we won the National Championship the same year when we were in 16-under. When I was in 16 and under I won it, and when she was in 16 and under she won it. So last year I was supposed to win the World Series because it was my time to do it - but it didn't happen (Jaime Maxey was a junior when FSU won in 1998). I've never really felt pressured. I love watching her play - she's my best friend. There is no real competition between us. I think we're so far apart in age (four years) that we don't really compete against each other and we were never in high school at the same time.

Q. You've been one of the most versatile athletes over the course of your career, playing shortstop, second base and all of the outfield positions. Is there one spot you like playing best?

A. Coming here, I'd always played shortstop and I really like that position, but I like them all - I love defense, it's my thing. I really like center field since playing it this year. There's not as much pressure in the outfield - I don't really know why. You're the last line of defense but it doesn't seem like as much pressure. I never realized how hard it is to catch a ball now after being in the outfield, because you don't get a throw from anybody - it's a lot different.

Q. Tell me about your helmet. It always seems like it's too big and falling over your eyes?

A. I've always worn my helmet like that. Everyone makes fun of it. I guess it started on my travel ball team because my friends that go to Stanford and Cal wear their helmets the same way. I don't want to swing at rise-balls and so I put my helmet low so I don't see the ball going up and I won't swing at it. I think it looks cool too!

Q. What has been your most memorable moment over your career at Oregon State?

A. This may sound weird, but conversations with teammates because we travel so much. What I'm going to remember the most are the things that we went through as a team and individually with friends - that's what I take the most from this. I enjoy talking with my teammates and finding out more about them. The goofy stuff we did in hotels and airports, not really stuff we did on the field, is what I remember the most. I'm probably not going to remember a specific game in four years when I think back, but I'll remember the goofy, fun times that we all shared, and the people that made me laugh.

Q. You've accomplished numerous things while playing here, hitting a grand slam, matching the school record with two home runs in a single game, currently 11-for-11 on stolen bases this year. Is there anything you haven't accomplished that you'd like to before the end of your career?

A. I want to make a game-winning diving catch. I don't know if that's going to be possible, but it's always been my dream because I love defense. Or maybe just an inning-ending diving catch - that would be really cool!

Q. What do you see yourself doing after you graduate from Oregon State?

A. I'm going to go home (Fresno), and I might work for my dad (owns a meat business) for a while. I'm going to coach with my sister at my old high school (Bullard High) and then go to school to become a dental hygienist.

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